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Hot Springs drubs White Sulphur Springs

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | September 21, 2022 12:00 AM

The Battle of the Springs is over and this year “Hot” has triumphed over “Sulphur.”

The young Montana High School six-man football team from Hot Springs showed it is absorbing the teachings of coach Jim Lawson and his staff when they drubbed conference foe and past playoff nemesis White Sulphur Springs 41-6 Saturday afternoon in White Sulphur.

The sophomore laden Savage Heat got plenty of offense from Johnny Waterbury, a 5-9, 145-pound running back who hauled in a pair of touchdown passes from fellow sophomore quarterback Nick McAllister in an explosive first half for the visitors. Waterbury also ran 2 yards for another score to help square Hot Springs’ overall record at 2-2 and lift its Western 6-man conference mark to 2-0.

The speedy young Hot Springs team’s receivers and running backs blew by the host Hornets throughout the first three quarters of the game.

Hot Springs got on the scoreboard first in the opening quarter when McAllister found Waterbury with a 14-yard TD pass. A failed extra point attempt left the score at 6-0 in the early minutes of the opening stanza.

Two possessions later, Hot Springs opened a modest drive from the Hornets 35 yard line that was capped when the Savage Heat’s lone senior, 6-3, 235-pound Garth Parker plowed through the White Sulphur line from two yards out. The PAT kick, which counts for two points in 6-man football, was good, boosting the Heat’s early lead to 14-0.

White Sulphur’s ensuing possession following the kickoff was halted when another Hot Springs sophomore, Weston Slonaker picked off a Hornets’ pass, giving the Heat the ball on the White Sulphur 30 yard line.

A short drive later ended when Waterbury plunged into the end zone from two yards out, giving the visitors a 20-0 lead when the PAT kick wobbled to the left and was no good.

The rapidly gelling Hot Springs defense forced the home town boys to punt from their own 29, with Parker getting a finger on the punt, which in turn gave the Heat good field position from the Sulphur 30 as time ran out in the opening 10 minutes of play.

Hot Springs shut down another Hornets possession and took over on downs from the midfield stripe.

On the next play, McAllister threw a dart to an awaiting Waterbury who hauled it in for a 40-yard touchdown pass. Again the PAT try was no good and just minutes into quarter number two, Hot Springs held a 26-0 advantage.

Still unable to move the ball on the bend but don’t break Hot Springs defense, White Sulphur was forced to punt, once again giving the ball to the Savage Heat at midfield.

Hot Springs marched methodically downfield on a drive that was topped off by a 2-yard touchdown dive by Slonaker. The PAT run this time was good, boosting Hot Springs to a 33-0 lead as time expired in the first half.

Just minutes into the third quarter, Slonaker once again scored on a short run, this one from six yards out. Coupled with a successful Heat PAT, Hot Springs held a 41-0 lead as reserves began seeing playing time and the Mercy Rule was in effect, keeping the clock running continuously expect for timeouts and changes of possession.

White Sulphur added a touchdown in the fourth quarter, then missed the extra point attempt, setting the score at 41-6. No one else would score the rest of the game.

Hot Springs returns to the road this coming Saturday when they travel to Gardiner for a 1pm clash with the Bruins.

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